Week in Digital: selfie security

By Teamspirit on Monday, 20 July 2015

There will be nothing quite like being able to verify a purchase by taking a selfie. As long as you're not pouting too much, new Mastercard tech will allow the art of the digital self-portrait to authorise your payments.

Mastercard have revealed that they're testing a smartphone app that uses facial recognition to verify online purchases. Of course, facial recognition means taking a photo of yourself, and many of us are used to this process due to the sheer volume of selfies we produce as a digitised society.

The great thing about it is that it's a lot easier to authenticate a purchase securely if you're using someone's appearance - far harder to gain a hold of than a password.

There are some security concerns - what about someone simply holding up a photo of you? Mastercard's technology apparently requests blinking from the user, but it does seem like there is the potential here for a lot of spoofing and unauthorised purchases.

Financial services are frequently very heavy on the list of required actions before making a payment online, but with contactless cards and other devices pushing us towards a faster checkout, Mastercard are taking an interesting step in the right direction. Security will define how well the feature integrates into an existing set of authentication methods.

What makes us love digital so much this week? Well, we love that new technology is letting us pay safely for things online.

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